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CAPITAL REGION, NY (WRGB) — New York’s eviction moratorium is costing landlords more than just unpaid rent, and some expect their costs to rise as they begin the process of taking tenants who aren’t paying to court.
Property attorneys in the Capital Region say that they’ve seen an increase in the number of calls they’re getting from struggling landlords seeking help. That’s because the moratorium has made an already complex situation more complicated.
“Anything along the line that’s procedurally incorrect, your petition will be dismissed and you’ll have to start all over again,” said Patrick Kilker, an attorney with Tully Rinckey, PLLC.
Filing a petition of eviction can costs more than $100 and that’s not including the cost of legal representation.
A landlord will need to file separate petitions for each eviction case they have.
“Let’s say you have 100 units, and you have to evict 20 people, you have to do 20 petitions, 20 filing fees, 20 service fees, all of that starts to add up tremendously,” said Kilker. “The more people you evict, the more expensive it’s going to be.”
But for some landlords who haven’t received rent in more than a year, they may not have the funds to file or hire an attorney.
“I would say about a third of the landlords that call are in a situation that they can’t really afford to even proceed with the eviction,” said Kilker.
Chris Morris, who is the Founder and Executive Director of Schenectady Landlords Influencing Change, says many landlords have been coming to her for help and guidance.
“The challenges are out there. The frustration is at an all time high,” said Morris.
“When the judge doesn’t see that this is a cut and dry case- and now they’re not – you have to go again and then again,” said Morris.
Both Morris and property attorneys say that even when the moratorium ends on August 31st, it’s going to be weeks to months before cases will be heard and any money recouped.
“It looks like there’s going to be a flood of filings, and now the question is ‘will the courts be able to handle the flood of filings?’” said Kenneth Schwartz, senior attorney at Sciocchetti Abbott Taber, PLLC.
Morris says that the impact New York’s eviction moratorium has had on landlords will be felt well after August 31st.